Or... Turn off the radio:
Adele, Rolling in the Deep. Every one to two years we get the "next big thing" out of England, often an appealing young woman (oh... say, Sade, or Duffy, or Amy Winehouse) with a soulful voice and a song about heartbreak. Some times they work out (I was just thinking... does Sade even have a worst song?) and sometimes they don't (though Winehouse could still get sober and pull it together), but I'm usually a sucker for it. Not so much with Adele, who just seems... well, strangely ersatz. She sure belts it really hard, but to what end? Rolling in the Deep is an especially miserable song - "We could have had it all"... there's an up thought - without much payoff and that "rich soulful voice" I hear so much about mostly sounds like braying on this sad single. Acquired taste? Perhaps. Just not the right song? Maybe. But for now, I think Adele as next big thing is more hype than fact.
Jennifer Lopez, On The Floor. Ah, yes, the new, kinder, gentler J-Lo, grizzled veteran of the music biz. I'm happy enough that Lopez has found something of a new niche on American Idol - where, true to form, she's mostly a pale copy of other, more interesting judges - but let's not take this too far. Recycling "The Lambada" (it took the gossips at PopBitch for me to realize why the thing seems instantly familiar) and doing yet another "let's get this party started on the dancefloor" type lyric is tired, tired, tired.... and that's before the tired recitation of international party destinations. Let's be clear: I don't hate all Lopez; go back and check out "On the 6" and see for yourself. But what seemed at first like a canny, effective deployment of limited singing strength (most notably in the hands of Darkchild, one of the greatest of session producers), has largely run it's course (and I'll even forgive "Jenny from the Block", which I thought charming as a record). Maybe someone can yet redeploy Lopez in some new and unfamiliar way... but she'll never be, say, Cher. Though she may hang around for a long time, insisting that longevity equals stardom. Not quite.
Blake Shelton, Honey Bee. Shelton is country's latest lunky heartthrob - and all you people who gave Billy Ray Cyrus even a few listens deserve to hang your heads in shame at what's happened since - with crossover appeal. What that appeal is... I can't say; I've committed to Brad Paisley. But Shelton seems to have sticking power, especially since he's Prom King to country's current female crossover darling Miranda Lambert (whose success I find so inexplicable, I can't even tell you which of her forgettable songs I'd call a Worst Song). I've grown especially weary of Shelton and Lambert making dual appearances on awards shows, singing their latest moony ballads to each other, googly eyed all the way. That, on top of the eternal cutes, Shelton is finding pop success with this especially cliched, hack-ish collection of dull metaphors ("you be my honeysuckle, I'll be your honey bee"... ick, ick, ick) just ices an already tasteless cake.